Friday, May 17, 2013

AB on the Road: Bridgeport, CT

Allie: AB went to Bridgeport, CT the other day because we heard that the Beardsley Zoo had newborn Nigerian Dwarf goats and boy, did they ever!  Those goats were bananas!  How did I not know this zoo was 20 minutes from my house?  They had two tigers!  In Bridgeport, CT!  Tigers!  It was a surprisingly nice zoo, with peacocks milling about everywhere, gorgeous weather, a sweet greenhouse with weird plants, and a lot of different types of animals.  The highlights included some prairie dogs, otters, cute farm animals, monkeys, etc.  I got to feed the goats and they loved me.  And two freaking tigers!  I felt like we were able to get a lot closer to the animals than at other zoos, but that this was because the animals seemed a little more closely confined so that was kind of sad/cool.  And holy cow what is the deal with children???  Why do they have to be ALWAYS SCREAMING AT MAX VOLUME?!  This zoo would have been way better with no children.  Some exhibits were closed for now, which was a bummer because one was a LEOPARD and another one was a MEXICAN WOLF and I would have liked to see those, but maybe we will go back.  I had a really good time and I give the zoo 5 slices.

So as you can imagine, we were pretty hungry after seeing all that and we needed some real stick-to-your-ribs fare, so we headed to Shandals Vegetaratian Cafe.  The restaurant is small and has a couple of tables, it was pretty bare bones and also somehow dark, even though it was noon on a sunny day.  The owner was really friendly, I think we arrived right as he opened so he was still arranging the selections, which are arranged buffet-style.  I ordered a small, which includes 4 choices, I chose rasta pasta, lo mein, BBQ tofu, and lima beans with wheat gluten.  That was a lot of food, especially for $7!  Everything was yummy, especially the lima beans which I would never have guessed would be my favorite.  I was looking forward to the rasta pasta and it did not disappoint.  I very nearly finished everything and I had to make Brian drive home because I went into a food coma.  5 out of 5 slices!




Brian: "Excuse me little child, what animal did you say that was? A ti...? A what? I'm sorry I couldn't hear you, could you speak up?" - Something no one has said ever at a zoo. But you know what? It's ok because tigers, bison, alligators, eagles and weird plants are all cool enough to make me not care that an entire elementary school is screaming directly in my ear. Obviously zoos are problematic for many many reasons, but I feel slightly better when most animals are there for rehabilitation reasons or to keep a species from becoming extinct. It was a beautiful day out and we needed a place to go and enjoy being outside, and like Allie said despite this place being about 15 minutes away from us we had never gone. I'd say it was completely worth the trip! When we were leaving we saw advertisements for a wine and beer event there, which sounds like something we would be in to. I'd have to say feeding the goats was the highlight of this trip, though they didn't jump up on the fence for me like they did for Allie. I will try to not hold it against them.

We went to Shandals for lunch, which was only the second time I had ever been there. I opted for the "small" plate this time, since last time I got the large which is actually massive (I'd estimate around twice as much as pictured above.) As before, this really hit the spot. You can really tell how chilled out the guy who runs this place is by eating his food. It's delicious, hearty food that makes you want to lay down and sleep for a while. I got the mashed potatoes, lima beans, soy chicken and peppers, and brown stew tofu which were all great. The guy who runs the place (I really wish I had learned his name) was as impressed as I was at my selections and, holding the plate at an arms length like he was inspecting a work of art, commented that he had prepared a great looking plate of food. I could not agree more, and it tasted just as good as it looked. 5 out of 5.


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